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Dave
10-01-2009, 08:07 AM
I always try to go into my top ten list with a strategy of some sort. I seem to think you all will care whether or not my picks are 'predictable Dave ones', a la Return of the Living Dead Part II, and as such I agonize for days (if not weeks, as was the case this year) over what I'm going to pick. This is, after all, what I'm recommending to the readers
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I always try to go into my top ten list with a strategy of some sort. I seem to think you all will care whether or not my picks are 'predictable Dave ones', a la Return of the Living Dead Part II, and as such I agonize for days (if not weeks, as was the case this year) over what I'm going to pick. This is, after all, what I'm recommending to the readers as essential Halloween viewing material. Should I capitalize on such an opportunity and simply list Return of the Living Dead Part II ten times? Not this year, but I'm going to file that away in my mental 'to remember' bin. Truly it is an opportunity for me to get on my soapbox and recommend some of my favorites. I usually do just that, often including a controversial pick here and there - a movie I love that most hate. It happens, believe it or not.

Alright, I'm done referencing lists from years prior. This is 2009, after all. We've seen the return of Jason and supposedly of Michael Myers too, as well as quick detour by Sam Raimi back to the horror genre. There's new, there's old, and then there's the same old: fans are still split amongst their likes and dislikes. Nothing receives universal praise. So to each his own. With that, lets take a look at my own top ten list for 2009.

http://www.horrordvds.com/reviews/a-m/dawnotd-ue/dawnotd-ue_fs.jpg (http://www.horrordvds.com/viewarticle.php?articleid=117)


10. Dawn of the Dead (1978)

It's been a long road for Dawn of the Dead to work its way onto my top 10 list, but here it is. It's definitely been a love / hate type of relationship for me and Dawn. Growing up I was never a big fan of the flick, yet it started to grow on me ever since Anchor Bay released their Ultimate Edition set back in 2004. I've only scratched the surface of that set, which excites me. What better time to start digging back into it then our favorite month of the year?

Dawn is really the swiss army knife of zombie flicks. It has a bit of everything you could possibly want - social commentary, lots of zombies, good character development, action and adventure, plus a kick-ass score. Day was my previous favorite of the series, but Dawn has bumped it into the #2 spot over the past year. I picked up the blu-ray last year and am now starting to get the itch to start picking up the various laserdisc box sets, too. Yeah, I'm becoming that much of a fan.

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9. The Mist (2007)

Stephen King makes an appearance in my top ten for the second year in a row. Last year it was The Stand miniseries, this year it’s The Mist. First released in 1980 as a novella, The Mist was adapted to the big screen in 2007 by Frank Darabont. Darabont is no stranger to King; he’s the man responsible for two of King's greatest big screen adaptations – The Green Mile and The Shawshank Redemption. What some may not know is that Darabont is also no stranger to horror. His writing credits include work on Nightmare on Elm Street 3, The Blob, and The Fly II. Some may argue that Darabont can do no wrong. That’s officially a fact now that its been announced Darabont is working on adapting the horror comic The Walking Dead into a TV series for A&E. The planets have aligned!

The Mist is simple and straight forward horror in delivering the scares. The monsters are out there and it pulls no punches in delivering a dark tale. A must see for all horror fans.

http://www.horrordvds.com/reviews/a-m/f13th3/f13th3_fs.jpg (http://www.horrordvds.com/viewarticle.php?articleid=90)


8. Friday the 13th Part 3 (1982)
Last year I wrote how I had hoped the Friday the 13th remake would make it onto my top 10 list for 2009. Since the remake was dreadful and there's no chance of that happening, what better way to wash the bad taste out then by revisiting one of the better sequels. Coming in as my third favorite Friday sequel (behind VI and IV), Part 3 manages to have gimmicky 3-D and still deliver all the goods we have come to expect in a Friday flick. Jason grows up a bit in part 3, ditching the visions of Mom and discovering his trademark hockey mask. Lots of creative kills to be had and ample amounts of T&A makes Part 3 classic Friday the 13th. Paramount did justice by putting out nice special editions on both DVD and blu-ray this year, so get spinning!

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7. Night of the Creeps (1986)

Fred Dekker pretty much has a reserved spot in my top 10 each year. While he didn’t make the list last year, that took some willpower on my part. The guy is responsible for two of my childhood favorites – The Monster Squad and House. While I didn’t discover Night of the Creeps until just a few years ago, that doesn’t make it any less enjoyable than the other two. With genre favorite Tom Atkins present, Dekker mixes all the right ingredients for classic 80s horror that pays proper homage to the creature flicks of the 50s.

With Night not only hitting DVD, but also blu-ray, for the first time ever this year, fans have more than enough reason to give it a spin.

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6. My Bloody Valentine 3-D (2009)
I’m a sucker for remakes when done right. When not done right - see Friday the 13th and Halloween remakes for two great examples - I end up hating them. Maybe it’s the 80s blood flowing through my veins, though it’s more likely the fact they were just plain bad movies. MBV 3-D breaks the trend, however, and earned a spot on my top ten for doing so. It’s still relatively mindless horror, but it at least provides a fun ride by delivering the goods – gore and lots of it, enhanced by the 3-D effect that we all know and love. I have yet to revisit the flick since seeing it in the theater. I fear doing so as I question whether the goods are still there outside of the big screen 3-D experience.

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5. Dog Soldiers (8002)
It seems I just can't write a top ten list without including a werewolf movie of some sort. The selection of good werewolf movies is small, but the pickings grew slightly in 2002 with the release of Dog Soldiers. Once again Hollywood is shown that a big budget isn't needed to make a good horror movie, or a good werewolf movie. The story itself is pretty simple - a group of Scottish soldiers are attacked by several werewolves and take refuge in a nearby farmhouse. With night approaching, chances of survival look slim as the werewolves move in for the kill. The effects work, there's plenty of gore, it's fast-paced, and that atmosphere of isolation works wonders in the movie. Highly recommended for werewolf fans like myself.


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4. The X-Files (1993-2008)
If there was ever a modern day Twilight Zone, it’s Chris Carter’s The X-Files. It’s certainly leans more towards science fiction, but for a series known for its “Monster of the Week” theme, more than enough horror is provided. I recently completed a viewing of the entire series – complete with both theatrical releases – and there’s simply no doubt the show is pure magic. When it’s good, it’s good. When it’s bad, it’s bad. When it’s great, it’s great. The show had its ups and downs but it was riding the highs a lot more than the lows. The magic started slowly seeping from the seams in later seasons and was completely gone by the time ended its run after Season Nine. Still, what a ride it was. I'm looking forward to the second time around.

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3. Book of Shadows: Blair Witch 2 (2000)
I’m not one of those that hopped on the anti Blair Witch bandwagon. I enjoyed the original Blair Witch and while I do find it doesn’t hold well to repeat viewings, I maintain it’s a classic horror movie that deserves a lot more respect for what it accomplished. Having said all that, the sequel, Book of Shadows, suffers from the backlash against the original and is often overlooked in the horror community. It took me a few years to watch it but once I did, I realized it was a great little horror movie, albeit with some flaws. There’s a decent story to it and some genuinely creepy moments. While I personally wouldn’t rate it above the original, it certainly has a lot more replay value for me. If you have yet to see it, give it a chance. You might just be surprised.

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2. DellaMorte DellaMore (1994)

Euro horror snuck its way into my number one spot the past two years, but this year it’s relegated to number two. Don’t let that sway you from missing out on Michele Soavi’s classic DellaMorte DellaMore, also known as Cemetery Man here in the states. I first discovered it in 1998 thanks to Image Entertainment’s domestic laserdisc release. If ever there was a zombie flick with brains (pun intended), this is it. It’s a tale of love, anguish, and sorrow – with zombies! If that’s not enough to sell you, the breathtaking Anna Falchi should serve nicely to seal the deal.


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1. The Stand (1978)

Read a book! There is nothing scarier than what one can cook up in their own noggin with some help from a good author. You can say Stephen King has jumped the shark, and I might be inclined to agree, but there's no arguing the guy had a damn good run.

This was single-handedly the most difficult number one pick I have ever had. I was a King nut growing up and there are simply so many of his books I would want to recommend to people out there. The Dark Tower series for its epic nature and wonderful mix of western and science fiction; Bag of Bones as a chilling yet touching ghost story that make you realize just how good King is at writing characters and making you care about them, yet how heartless he can be with those characters; or Dreamcatcher simply for the fact that is an excellent novel that is often overlooked due to a dreadful movie. There are countless others, of course, and I'm cheating a bit by talking about some of his works that I didn't choose for the number one slot. In the end I had to decide what King novel stuck with me the most over the years, and which one scared me the most. That novel is The Stand. It has its flaws, yet remains one of his finest works. I'll never forget reading when Larry Underwood entered the Lincoln Tunnel in an effort to escape the city. I was a kid, mind you, but when I read that sequence, I was terrified. The sheer horror I felt as Larry crawled over decaying corpses in pure darkness, and the horror from his own imagination; that will always stay with me. One moment isn't enough to recommend an 1100 page novel. Thankfully The Stand is full of memorable moments. It's an epic tale of good versus evil in the aftermath of a plague that wipes out 90% of the human population. It's full of great characters, action, adventure, romance, and, of course, a good amount of scares.

It's the end of the world as we know it and I feel fine.

That's it for 2009, folks! See ya next year!

Hellbilly
10-01-2009, 11:30 AM
Nice picks. I like the inclusion of The Mist http://www.horrordvds.com/vb3forum/images/icons/icon14.gif

_pi_
10-01-2009, 03:13 PM
Yay to The Stand!

I was planning to read it a few weeks ago, but left it back in Iceland when I came to New York, so I'll have to wait a few more months ... However, I did pre-order King's latest - Under the Dome, so I'll be happy to read that instead! :D

19VOORHEES83
10-01-2009, 03:17 PM
thats awesome somebody actually loves return of the living dead 2!!!......i feel like its one of those horror movies that everyone seems to overlook. Even tho its one of my favorite horror movies i cant get myself to watch it on dvd because of the soundtrack mishap. Nice list dave!!!

17thJuggalo
10-01-2009, 03:43 PM
Dog Soldiers is FROM THE FUTURE!!!! :eek:

This actually makes me want to order The Stand on Amazon.

KGBRadioMoskow
10-01-2009, 07:29 PM
His writing credits include work on Nightmare on Elm Street 3, The Blob, and The Fly II. Some may argue that Darabont can do no wrong.

Maybe, but this would be the first I've ever seen anyone list Fly II and then contend the possibility he can do no wrong! More like "everyone is allowed at least one screw up".

It’s certainly leans more towards science fiction, but for a series known for its “Monster of the Week” theme

The standard phrase of the time was "freak of the week".

And, yes, it pretty much became the norm that these stand alone episodes were where the series truly shined, the moments when your jaw was on the floor as the credits rolled. The conspiracy thread slogged along far past its shelf date without really moving anything forward or providing anything memorable (like a brief shot of a generic frustrated mall zombie in DotD). It was Chris Carter at his self indulgent worst, clearly spreading far too little inspiration over far too much canvas. But we forgave him, because many of the stand alone episodes etched themselves in your memory as some of the most moving or disturbing TV ever made.

spawningblue
10-01-2009, 07:50 PM
Interesting list!

I loved the Mist and since I haven't watched the black and white version yet, I may throw that in this month. Seems more fitting anyway.

I haven't seen Night of the Creeps yet but I love The Monster Squad and have heard good things, so I will definitely be grabbing it on Blu this month.

Although it probably wouldn't be on my list normally, I have had the MBV 3D Blu Ray sitting in my to watch pile for a while now so I will probably throw it in sometime this month. I liked it enough in theaters, but I too am worried it will not hold up very well at home.

I have been watching X-Files for the past year now (Along with 20 other shows on DVD!) and am on Season 8. I have loved every season thus far (Although Season 7 had quite a few stinkers) and it is now definitely my favourtie show of all time. A lot of people think it jumped the shark with Season 5, but I disagree. I think Season 6 was one of the best seasons of the show, and Season 8 has been really good so far as well, bringing it back to its darker more serious tone.

Blair Witch 2 is a good one. I have the first one in my movie watching pile, but I may have to have the second one to the pile as well. I thought I would hate this flick, but ended up really enjoying it. I like how it messes with your head, and all the little details they did to add to that illusion.

hellraiser40
10-01-2009, 08:06 PM
some great choices in here, i wouldn't pick a book to be honest :)

The Mist has to be one of the best Stephen King adaptation's...ever so that's a great inclusion

fattyjoe37
10-01-2009, 11:22 PM
Great list. The Stand is my favorite King book and The X-Files is one of my favorite shows ever. I would definitely agree that the best X-Files episodes were the "monster of the week"s and not the convoluted conspiracy eps.

Dave
10-02-2009, 12:26 AM
The standard phrase of the time was "freak of the week".

I geeked out after watching my run of the entire series (just recently) and after browsing many X-Files message forums, I can say with strong certainty that it's actually "Monster of the Week". A quick google search confirms this! But in the end, call it what you want. You can call it whatever - show is great, regardless!

othervoice1
10-02-2009, 12:34 AM
Nice to see some love for Blair Witch 2 which isnt great but I still enjoy. Also I think I like the MBV remake even more everytime I watch it even without the 3-D.

X-human
10-02-2009, 12:45 AM
The Stand is a good ballsy choice. Not that I feel it's great "horror" but hell King is King. I guess every list needs its Dawn of the Dead, and Cemetery Man was a nice bone to throw out to any naysayers. Good work.

Dave
10-02-2009, 01:00 AM
Nice to see some love for Blair Witch 2 which isnt great but I still enjoy. Also I think I like the MBV remake even more everytime I watch it even without the 3-D.

Good to know on MBV. I'm going to try and pickup the blu-ray this month. Love waiting out the price drops on blu-ray. Amazing how cheap used ones are on Amazon marketplace.

KGBRadioMoskow
10-02-2009, 01:21 AM
I geeked out after watching my run of the entire series (just recently) and after browsing many X-Files message forums, I can say with strong certainty that it's actually "Monster of the Week". A quick google search confirms this!

"Monster of the week" is the politically correct rework of the viral "freak of the week" label that was, in the SF Bay Area at least, more common. The "roll off the tongue" smoothness of the latter certainly sticks in the memory more, but frankly I don't remember ever hearing the MotW tag until well after the second season. FotW was well cemented in use locally by the time 'The Host' hit the air.

As for Google confirmation, that doesn't say much as to which was more commonly slung around for one obvious reason - few forward thinking admins of any mainstream website are going to risk the torches and pitchforks responses resulting from a search of the phrase "freak of the week" showing up a subject category on their site. Doesn't matter what the actual content of the subject is on the site, the negative connotations and false association with some more crass content carrying sites just causes more problems than its worth. So a simple freak --> monster switch, and you're all good to go without ticking off the sensitive crowd. The result is then self-reinforcing feeback loop of search engines (showing more frequently hit sites) and subsequent web usage (people using the term they read on other sites) that eventually wins out over time. I stand by the assertion that, pushing two decades ago, the choice was to "freak" out.

Dave
10-02-2009, 01:45 AM
"Monster of the week" is the politically correct rework of the viral "freak of the week" label that was, in the SF Bay Area at least, more common. The "roll off the tongue" smoothness of the latter certainly sticks in the memory more, but frankly I don't remember ever hearing the MotW tag until well after the second season. FotW was well cemented in use locally by the time 'The Host' hit the air.

As for Google confirmation, that doesn't say much as to which was more commonly slung around for one obvious reason - few forward thinking admins of any mainstream website are going to risk the torches and pitchforks responses resulting from a search of the phrase "freak of the week" showing up a subject category on their site. Doesn't matter what the actual content of the subject is on the site, the negative connotations and false association with some more crass content carrying sites just causes more problems than its worth. So a simple freak --> monster switch, and you're all good to go without ticking off the sensitive crowd. The result is then self-reinforcing feeback loop of search engines (showing more frequently hit sites) and subsequent web usage (people using the term they read on other sites) that eventually wins out over time. I stand by the assertion that, pushing two decades ago, the choice was to "freak" out.

Haha...fair enough. Freaks, geeks, monsters, meeks - it's all good, my man.

old-boo-radley
10-02-2009, 01:47 AM
Mega props on Blair Witch 2, I thought of putting that one on my own list this year, but it got beat out by a few others.

But dude, no fucking way am I ever gonna read a book, man. :X

Dave
10-02-2009, 01:57 AM
But dude, no fucking way am I ever gonna read a book, man. :X

Then LISTEN to one. Try it! Unabridged audio book - probably available at your library.

I know some people just can't do books. I get that, I really do. But those people are missing out on some real magic.

captain_brandon
10-02-2009, 02:13 AM
Great list, Dave!

Must say, I REALLY love my Blu-Ray of The Mist, as I feel it's one of the best King adaptions in quite some time, and I'm in the minority of my family for loving it a lot since the ending is just SO dark & down-beat. But it's one of the things I love about it.

Also I feel MBV 3-D is good, sometimes atmospheric fun, dispite the someitmes weak performances, but such is to be expected from my beloved Slasher sub-genre, to tell ya the truth. Also, I'm so glad, speaking of which 3-D horror is concerned, that Friday the 13th Part 3 (1982) has gotten some more love over the time! I'm a HUGE supporter of it over time as probably my favorite Jason instalment, flaws & all, and I just simply geek at it and gush at it for the longest of times. I probably watch it at least every other month. Scabboy of www.scabboy.net fan is also a big lover of it as well. I agree with rhett's review in that I feel it has the best cast of victim's (or teenage spam; whatever ya wanna say, of course ;)) of any of the early Paramount distributed Friday instalments.

Paff
10-02-2009, 02:14 AM
I miss doing these lists. Oh well, for whoever's counting, I'd still put The Blair Witch Project as #1.

I will also give you props on the suggestion of the BOOK version of The Stand at #1. It kind of reminds me of the comic strip Opus (offshoot of Bloom County). There was a strip about the Kindle, and Opus was trying to use it and finding something "missing". In the last panel there he is snuggled up on an easy chair in front of a fire, wrapped in a blanket with a cup of hot cocoa nearby, and a PRINTED copy of To Kill a Mockingbird in his hand. I forgot what he says, but it's along the lines of "this is more like it..."

Edited to add: While it's not writing or directing, I think Frank Darabont should also be credited for being a production assistant on Hell Night. I don't know exactly what he did, but that movie was shot seriously out-of-sequence at multiple locations, and the PAs had to maintain continuity. I think they did an amazing job, and if you listen to the commentary, you can learn about some of the hard work they had to do.

Dave
10-02-2009, 02:31 AM
Never saw the appeal of Kindle myself - and I'm a gadget junky. I suppose price is one reason why, but I'm big on audio books, too. Yet these days I do find myself curling up with a printed book from my library more often. Good times. I will be interested in Kindle when they eventually colorize it; would love to have something like that to read graphic novels/comics on.

old-boo-radley
10-02-2009, 02:56 AM
I know some people just can't do books. I get that, I really do. But those people are missing out on some real magic.

You know what, I will honestly thank you for saying that you GET that I can't do books. Many snobs out there will think people who don't read aren't as intelligent or whatever it may be and I just hate that. I can read well, and if it's a novella I am down with it, or even short stories. I love me some Poe or something like Of Mice and Men or Different Seasons. But, I seriously just can't do a long book. In the last year at work I tried to read IT and The Dark Tower: The Gunslinger. I will admit to just being totally uninterested in the longevity of IT (the descriptions were just too long-winded for me) and I really loved the spaghetti western-ish shootout in The Gunslinger, but at times it lost me too, then it'd pull me right in.

But, then there was stuff in IT where King would add little things to the characters (such as Ben not knowing he felt lonely because he's never felt anything but) that I completely dug and know that it's a lot harder to express that with film. So, I'm sort of caught between a rock and a hard place with the whole reading thing. I've never tried listening to a book though, I must say.

Mitbox
10-02-2009, 04:10 AM
Nice list Dave, need to check Night of the Creeps out, good thing is finally coming to dvd. Now, Blair Witch 2...gonna have to see it again, I thought we've all agreed that it sucked. I'll catch it on cable.

KGBRadioMoskow
10-02-2009, 07:11 AM
Never saw the appeal of Kindle myself - and I'm a gadget junky.

Same boat here. A lot of things turn me off to Kindle (particularly the first one). The ugly, dull white, 50s-kitchen-gadget look of the thing itself. The "computer attempt to look like newsprint" page color, instead of something that has the look of *book* paper. The resizable but not changeable font that just seems to suck the energy out of your skull as you try to read it, drawing attention into the task of reading instead of what is being read (although maybe its the LCD display thats more to fault than the font). The fact the thing is bigger and bulkier than just about any book it would take the place of. And not least of which, the simple lack of tactile sense of an actual book.

I'll stick with a pile of dead trees myself. At least until they come up with something that takes up about as much space as a large PDA, folds open to have a screen at least the size of a paperback book, has custom selectable fonts, and doesn't look like something that should be taking my weight next to the toilet.

shockwave
10-02-2009, 06:25 PM
I've yet to see BWP 2 or The Mist but I would give them both a watch. My biggest disagreement though was MBV 3D. That movie had some great nude scenes, but that was about it, the acting was pretty lousy, and they way they did Harry Warden was just a little over the top, other then that though the list looks pretty solid.

satans-sadists
10-02-2009, 07:55 PM
Can't say I admire everything on this list, but it's definitely a nice variety. I really enjoyed My Bloody Valentine 3D, much to my surprise. Very glad to have seen that in a crowded theater opening weekend. Awesome to see Tom Atkins back in a horror flick! :D

KamuiX
10-03-2009, 12:52 AM
I know some people just can't do books. I get that, I really do.

Really? All you have to do is sit and look at it. Unless you're blind, have ADD, or have ZERO free time, there's honestly no excuse to not read a book (unless of course after 100 pages or so you're not feeling it). Even if you read slow, just read 10 pages a day. Unless you have short-term memory loss, you can easily keep up with the story. I don't know, I'm not saying people that think books are Kryptonite are dumb, but it doesn't make a lot of sense to be so intimidated by a book unless one of your parents sodomized you with a copy of War & Peace :p

Dave
10-03-2009, 08:40 AM
Really? All you have to do is sit and look at it. Unless you're blind, have ADD, or have ZERO free time, there's honestly no excuse to not read a book (unless of course after 100 pages or so you're not feeling it). Even if you read slow, just read 10 pages a day. Unless you have short-term memory loss, you can easily keep up with the story. I don't know, I'm not saying people that think books are Kryptonite are dumb, but it doesn't make a lot of sense to be so intimidated by a book unless one of your parents sodomized you with a copy of War & Peace :p

Well, I think you might have hit the nail on the head. A LOT of people have ADD. There were three boys in my family - myself and my two brothers. My oldest brother and myself are both bookworms. My second oldest brother definitely has ADD and could not read a book for the life of him. He simply couldn't sit still for that long.

I personally think that is the reason many people simply can't get into reading.

As for excuse, people don't need one. It may not be ADD; it may be they simply don't want to read a book. They are the ones missing out - whatever the reason is.

Workshed
10-09-2009, 04:24 AM
Good list, Dave. Not sure I agree with The Stand being a Halloween pick, as I think there are far more "campfire" tales by King that would serve this season a bit better, but it is an amazing horror novel and a cool idea for a Top Ten list. Nicely done.

Also liked your inclusion of The X-Files. Have you seen the new film? I'm gonna go against the grain and say I enjoyed it, as far as progression of characters goes.

As for the Kindle, I wasn't a believer either, until work necessitated that I get one. I travel a lot, and I ride the bus a lot too, and it's much easier to use my lightweight Kindle than to lug around a hardcover (or four) while on vacation or work or even on the bus. I think what Kindle naysayers have wrong is that Kindle users don't "like" books. Couldn't be further from the truth. I love books and have the shelves to prove it (and the credit card bills), but the Kindle makes it easier for me to read in everyday situations. Now, maybe Kindle naysayers don't have the same lifestyle I do--fair enough. I curl up at night with my books--but during the day and on extended trips, I read my Kindle.

othervoice1
10-09-2009, 04:41 AM
But, then there was stuff in IT where King would add little things to the characters (such as Ben not knowing he felt lonely because he's never felt anything but) that I completely dug and know that it's a lot harder to express that with film. So, I'm sort of caught between a rock and a hard place with the whole reading thing. I've never tried listening to a book though, I must say.

"IT" is a great example of a book I really loved and the tv movie I really disliked. It just couldnt capture the book and left too many things out, some in part due to movie length constraints and some things you just couldnt show in a tv movie. I dont know if a movie has ever been better then the book it is based on but for IT I thought it was night and day.

Another would be any of the Anne Rice vampire chronicles since I loved those books soooo much and neither of the movies did them justice. I must admit I do enjoy the movie Interview with the Vampire, I just didnt like the casting except for Kirsten Dunst. The Queen of the Damned movie was just plain awful.